In what most critics are calling the best film in the Hasbro “Transformers” franchise, “Bumblebee” follows the titular robot character, a member of the Autobots who finds refuge on Earth as the villainous Decepticons attempt to track him down.
While on Earth, Bumblebee (AKA B-127) meets Charlie (Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld), a 17-year-old outcast who pulls the broken-down robot (disguised as a yellow Volkswagen Beetle) from a scrapyard and makes it her new car. She soon realizes that Bumblebee is much more than just an old junker when the Decepticons land on Earth with plans to destroy him and the planet.
There to support Charlie and Bumblebee is her family, including Charlie’s younger brother Otis (Jason Drucker), a funny and sarcastic kid who knows how to annoy his older sister, but is there for her when she really needs him.
During an interview with Drucker, who is also known for the Nickelodeon series “Every Witch Way” and the 2017 comedy sequel “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” talked about how much he knew about “Transformers” before landing the role, working with Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld for the second time and revealed the actor he would most like to work with in the future.
“Bumblebee” was released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 2.
I know you’re 13 years old now. How old were you when you shot “Bumblebee?”
I believe we began shooting in the summer of 2017, so I was 12. I think I turned 12 on set.
Does it feel like a lifetime ago?
It honestly does feel like a lifetime ago! I just remember waiting for the premiere. Waiting a year is pretty long. It might as well have been 10 years. We worked very hard on the film.
What was your initial reaction when you got the phone call that you booked the role of Otis?
I was in a complete state of shock. I got it on my first audition, so I thought that was already pretty impressive. And, I mean, it’s a “Transformers” film, so that is amazing. I never really imagined that I would be this fortunate in this industry. But I’m really grateful and thankful for all the things I’ve accomplished already.
You are way too young to have watched the original “Transformers” cartoon growing up, but did people tell you about it when you landed this role?
Yeah, my dad did. I’m pretty sure he watched them. He showed me a few episodes on YouTube. I just grew up with the 21st century cartoons and, of course, the films that already existed. I’ve seen the first, second and third ones. I was already a pretty big fan of [the franchise].
Well, personally, I think “Bumblebee” is easily the best “Transformers” movie of the franchise, and I’m not alone in that regard. How do you feel when people tell you it’s the best movie out of the bunch?
I feel really grateful because I am a part of a franchise that has been so successful. It seems like everyone is really liking [“Bumblebee”], including myself. It was such a blast to film. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it – that I’m in a “Transformers” film.
Your character, Otis, is a bit of a sarcastic kid. How close in real life are you to him?
(Laughs) Honestly, I think [Otis] has a big portion of my true personality. This is actually the third character I’ve played that almost resembles me – chatty and sarcastic half the time. Sometimes I can be a bit rude to my siblings like Otis is with Charlie. But, of course, like in the movie, I do become accepting of Charlie, so that resembles me, as well, in real life.
Something a young actor like yourself doesn’t always get a chance to do is work with an Oscar-nominated actress like Hailee Steinfeld. What was the experience like working with her?
Something a lot of people don’t know is that this is my second film with her. (Drucker and Steinfeld also starred together in the 2015 adventure-comedy “Barely Lethal”). Getting a second film with her was great. But like you said, she is very talented – acting and singing. She is very wise as well. A couple of times on set, she pulled me to the side and spoke to me about education and how my life was going. It’s always a blast to work with her.
What about someone like John Cena? Were you a wrestling fan at all?
I wasn’t a superfan like my friends were. It was actually my friends that got me into WWE and I watched it for a good half year. Of course, John Cena was my favorite wrestler. Now, he’s getting into movies as well. I’ve seen a couple of them. So, to be in a movie with him is just insane. Getting to meet him was awesome, too.
Can you give us any news on any sequel talk that might be out there?
For the most part, it’s all classified, but if there is a sequel, I would love to be in it.
Moving forward in your career, is there anyone you would like to work with specifically – and actor or a director?
Jim Carrey. He would definitely be an honor to work with. I’ve seen a bunch of his movies. I love his comedies. To be able to work with him or at least meet him would be an absolute dream.
What’s your favorite Jim Carrey movie?
“Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” for sure. Actually, both of them. I just rewatched the second one (“Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls”) two weeks ago. It’s even funnier the second time. Will Ferrell is also another one of my idols.
It’s too bad they already made an “Ace Ventura Jr.” movie a few years ago. You were too young to star in it back then.
Wait, they did?!
Yeah, it’s Ace Ventura, but he’s a kid.
Oh, dang! I’ve gotta watch that!
OK, so we know you’re definitely into comedy. Would you like to try another genre – maybe drama or horror?
Oh, a horror movie, for sure. I am a huge horror movie fanatic. I’ve seen every horror movie possible, so to be able to work on a horror movie would be insane.